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So today is the last day for the Quote Challenge from the lovely Ms. Michelle Toussaint at Random_Michelle. Since I’d already done it, we negotiated and I agreed to do it again sans the challenging three other people each time. Besides, she asked so perty like! So here’s my final quote for Day 3 of the Quote Challenge (Round Two):

“Rings and jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only true gift is a portion of thyself.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

This is a quote that hits close to my heart. I had great parents. One of them knew exactly what Emerson was talking about. My dad shared all kinds of adventures with us, and he made sure we knew about how it was for him when he was growing up. To my siblings and to me, dad was a magician, a knight, a teacher, a troubadour…

My mom, on the other hand, lived in an inner world where she was too afraid to show her emotions and let us get close to her. Her life had not been an easy one. When we’d ask her about growing up, she’d always say there was nothing good to tell us about. For her, the only safe way to show her emotions was by buying us things. In her mind those things were the expressions of the love she wished us to know she felt.

Unfortunately all three of us kids felt exactly like Emerson. Those gifts were just apologies for her being unable to bond well with us. We loved her, but when she was gone she left a hole in our hearts that can never be filled because we never really knew who she was.

So I hope if you’re reading this you’ll take Emerson’s quote to heart in ALL your relationships. Give a gift of yourself. It’s the most precious gift you can ever give any one. And it won’t diminish “you” one little bit. That “you” released into the world will grow and grow and give you a greater capacity to love other. And it just might teach someone else how to give of themselves, too.